Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Water Lily

I wanted to do a flower for this challenge and I started with this photo (below) that I took last summer. I edited the photo (in Photoshop and Corel Painter) to boost the value contrast and then printed it on fabric and added the quilting. The size of the quilt is about 9 inches by 12 inches.

Thanks for this challenge.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Onion Peel

The Art Piece

As I started this design, I had in mind that it eventually would become a purse. I was given a gorgeous piece of burgundy velvet [my friend Alex bought it at an estate sale for 50cents], I had some tiny cones of silk yarn, some iridescent seed beads and an idea. I had never done any couching before, but this silk begged to be put with this velvet.  I also felt it really fit this challenge.

Velvet seems to have a life of its own as it slides and frays all over the place.   I stay stitched the velvet to the stabilizer. That seem to keep the velvet in place.   As I began to couch the silk yarn to the velvet I loved the look. It is lush! I had absolutely no idea I was stitching the shape of an onion cut pole-to-pole; I just liked the shape. It wasn't until I took a break for a dinner of my Oven Roasted Onion Soup, , that I realized after peeling and cutting over 4 pounds of onions, that shape was definitely in my mind.

After dinner I added the seed beads to bring out the dimensions of the velvet-polyester batting-satin layers. I used the polyester batting because I wanted it to be  very 'lumpy'; it is.  It is also very rich, lush, glowing and invites touch.  The beads are dark, but just the right tiny glow to fulfill the challenge. Today I finished making this work of art into an Arty Purse. I plan to use it New Years Eve at a wedding rehearsal dinner.  I often make things do not materialize into my inner vision.  It is so nice to make something I really like.

The Arty Purse Hanging on My Design Wall

The Arty Purse Sitting on a Table


This is my first attempt at using value to do portraits.  I am happy with everything except the choice of fabrics.  I think there is too big of a jump between the two lightest and the next fabric.  Thus, I haven't stitched it.  The most challenging part was the eyes.  I am happy with the way they turned out.  I used a white colored pencil to get the white dots that make the eyes come alive. I just wish the fabrics had a better gradation.  Please let me know what you think.   Should I toss it and start over or stitch it???

Lindabn from Louisiana

Friday, November 25, 2011


Not much to say about this. Probably the easiest one I have ever done.

I used the applibond method for the flower and the leaves are from a silk flower bouquet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Challenge 63 - High Value Contrast

FFFC Challenge # 63
November 2011

Theme: Contrast
Hostess: Susan Brittingham

Experiments in Contrast and Color: Use strong value contrast in a dramatic way

In September we looked at the colors of the Old Masters. In October, we used Notan to explore positive and negative space using high contrast. This month, we continue our explorations of contrast and revisit Rembrandt‘s use of chiaroscuro.

For November, I ask you to use strong value contrast in a dramatic way. To paraphrase one of the articles below: “use chiaroscuro to achieve a dramatic intensification of
action or mood“.  I am also going to stipulate that using exclusively black and white is off limits. You must use some color in your work.

You may have seen some of these articles on chiaroscuro from previous challenges. We return to the Old Masters again and again as examples of great art.  

·         This first article focuses on the psychological effects achieved by Rembrandt’s use of light and shadow:
·         The next article speaks of the difference between high contrast chiaroscuro and low contrast sfumato:
·         Although not specifically known for chiaroscuro, I am also sending you off to visit one of my favorite artists, Vermeer, who uses strong contrasts to paint his domestic scenes:
·         As you explore Rembrandt and the Old Masters once again, note their color palettes.
·         The next article examines what is known as Rembrandt Lighting, used for dramatic effect in photography and film:

In the world of art quilts,
·         some of the best examples I found are the works of Kate Themel The examples on her Gallery entrance page of slices of her quilts show her skillful use of strong value contrasts:
·         Denise LaBadie has a Portal Series that shows how the use of contrast creates both depth and drama.
·         Take a look at the dramatic lighting in some of Jo Diggs’ landscapes:
·         The following two quilt artists have several examples each among their works,, check out  The Stable, and some of her higher contrast landscapes for examples 
· check out her dogwoods and On Winter’s Coming, plus some of her architectural pieces

So try using some high contrast, with color, to create a strong dramatic effect and have fun!

Susan Brittingham
Faculty Member at

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Although, I am posting last this was done the week of the challenge deadline. I just never got around to the posting part of it. This was a fun challenge. I'd like to do three more and put them together. I think it would give it a totally different effect. Critiques, criticisms and comments always welcome.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tails of a Phoenix

I had just made a trip to Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur and was inspired by the Phoenix image. This piece used two tails of my imaginary Phoenix and in the Notan style, created two more tails from the pieces I cut. I really enjoyed this challenge and the piece I created.

The size is 17 ½ by 17 ½

Jeanne Holmes

Monday, November 07, 2011

Sea Notan Art

I Have posted my Quilt to the blog and FFFCC 62 Thank you for such a great challenge.
This was a fun project. I "think" this represents Notan Art. I am not the best cutting and trimming person. So I made it simple:) I could not resist the seaweed.
 Susan Ward aka SusanPI2   
"Imagination What a Wonderful Thing"
Quilting In Kentucky

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Notan Snowflake

I started with a circle and cut the pattern to look like a snowflake. One side of the white fabric had some sparkles on it. I realized that since everything was symmetrical, I did not have to recut the cut out pieces to get the right side up. Big time saver. I'm really pleased with how this turned out (except for the top point that isn't quite straight. It 15" x 15" and right now unquilted. I'm trying to decide if it needs to be or just frame it. I know have my snowflake for our Embroiderers Guild challenge too!

Nancy Schlegel

Three Studies

Here are three that I like. I haven't had time to convert to fabric yet...too many irons in the fire right now...LOL

This is fun and a valuable lesson in positive/negative, light/dark interaction. Thanks Wendy!



You have all done a great job!  Notan is such fun and with so few rules, its easy to just keep it going!  I did a bunch over the summer... here are just a few:
Lotus Petals

Jack in the Box

Simple Hearts

Simple Trees

Friday, November 04, 2011

Butterfly and Flower

This must be a first. Nearly on time. I cut several experimental Notan images, most of them symmetrical. Then I decided to try something more representational and asymmetrical. This is the one I decided to try in fabric. There is something I like about it, but think it lacks balance. I have uploaded two views, the smaller one is rotated 90 degrees right.

I liked this challenge so much, that I am going to take the idea of paper cutting positive and negative shapes to my guild for a fun activity at our next meeting.

I am eager to do some more. This is such a welcome break from my usual work. Much more immediate gratification. I say that, but I did take the time to applique the shapes, fused and stitched.

Comments/critiques welcome.

Cards Notan

This was designed in Make the Cut software and cut with an electronic cutter. The great thing about it is that I got 2 for 1 . I loved this challenge!


Thursday, November 03, 2011


This was a lot of fun.

If you cannot enlarge this, go to my Flickr site and click on action and then view sizes.